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thought and consideration, and now submit a few reasons which have influenced them in their determination of the question.

Looking at the law creating the Board and defining its duties as their sole charter of powers, they find that section 1 of the Act repeals certain sections of a former Act which seemed to be inconsistent with the spirit and theory of this Act. Section 2 provides for the present Board, the manner and term of their appointment and services, and their qualifications and location. Section 3 defines their powers and duties and must in our opinion be regarded as the leading section, so far as the duties, powers and jurisdiction of the Board are concerned. From that section we learn that the Board shall have the general supervision of all railroads in the State operated by steam. That they shall inquire into any neglect or violation of the laws of this State by any railroad doing business therein, or by the officers, agents or employes thereof; that they shall from time to time carefully examine and inspect the condition of each railroad in the State, its equipment, the manner of its conduct and management with reference to the public safety and convenience; that they shall make a semi-annual examination of the bridges of the several railroad companies and report their condition to the companies; that if a bridge is found unsafe the Board shall notify the company owning the same, and the company shall repair and put the same in good order within ten days after receiving notice; and in default thereof said Commissioners are authorized and empowered to stop and prevent said company from running its trains over said bridge while in its unsafe condition; that if, in the judgment of the Commissioners, any railroad corporation fails in any respect or particular to comply with the terms of its charter or the laws of the State, or any repairs are necessary upon its road, or any addition to its rolling stock, or any addition to or change of its stations or station houses, or any change in its rates of fare for transporting freight or passengers, or in its mode of operating its road and conducting its business, is reasonable and expedient, in order to promote the security, conveniences and accommodation of the public, they shall notify the company in question in writing, &c., but that nothing in the section shall be construed as relieving the company from its present responsibility or liability for damage to person or property.

Section 4 requires the Commissioners to make an annual report to the Governor of their doings for the preceding year, disclosing the workings of the railroad system of the State, its relation to the general business and prosperity of the State, and appropriate suggestions

and recommendations in relation thereto. Section 5 to aid the Commissioners authorizes them to require a report annually from each railroad in the State. Section 6 fixes the place of the office of the Commissioners, and their compensation, and that of their secretary. Section 7 prescribes an oath of office for the Commissioners, &c. Section 8 provides for a fund for salary and expenses. Section 9 grants them inquisitorial powers of investigation, authorizing them to issue subpœnas, &c. Section 10 is a section of general railroad law, prescribing the duties of a railroad company to shippers and to connecting railroads. Section 11 prohibits unequal and discriminating charges and special rates, concessions and drawbacks. Section 12 prohibits unreasonable charges for transportation of persons and property, or for handling or storing freight, or for use of cars, or for any privilege or service afforded by it in the transaction of business as a railroad corporation. Section 13 provides a forfeiture for violating any of the provisions of the act, and for attorney's fees to be recovered in a civil action in court. This section then provides that in all cases "where com"plaint shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Section 15 "hereinafter provided, that an unreasonable charge is made, the Com"missioners shall require a modified charge for the service rendered, "such as they shall deem to be reasonable, and all cases of a failure "to comply with the recommendations of the Commissioners shall be "embodied in the report of the Commissioners to the Legislature; and "the same shall apply to any unjust discrimination, extortion or over"charge by said Company, or other violation of law." Section 14 prescribes the duty of the railroad companies and of the Commissioners as to accidents involving personal injury or loss of life.

Then follows section 15, which is the section requiring special construction, and must, in our view, be construed in the light of the other sections and parts of the act, so as to give if possible full meaning and scope to every part and parcel thereof. Section 15 reads as follows: "It shall be the duty of said commissioners, upon the complaint and application of the mayor and aldermen of any city, or the mayor and "council of any incorporated town, or the trustees of any township, to "make an examination of the rate of passenger fare, or freight tariff "charged by any railroad company, and of the condition or operation "of any railroad, any part of whose location lies within the limits of "such city, town, or township; and if twenty-five or more legal voters "in any city or township shall by petition, in writing, request the mayor and aldermen of such city, or the trustees of such township, to

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"make the said complaint and application, and the mayor and aldermen, or the trustees, refuse or decline to comply with the prayer of "the petition, they shall state the reason for such non-compliance in "writing upon the petition, and return the same to the petitioners, and "the petitioners may thereupon, within ten days from the date of such "refusal and return, present such petition to said commissioners, and "said commissioners shall, if upon due inquiry and hearing of the peti "tioners, they think the public good demands the examination, pro"ceed to make it in the same manner as if called upon by the mayor "and aldermen of any city, or the trustees of any township. Before "proceeding to make such examination in accordance with such appli"cation and petition, said commissioners shall give to the petitioners "and corporation reasonable notice, in writing, of the time and place "of entering upon the same. If upon such examination it shall appear "to said commissioners that the complaint alleged by the applicants "or petitioners is well founded, they shall so adjudge, and shall in"form the corporation operating such railroad of their adjudication "within ten days, and shall also report their doings to the Governor, "as provided in the fourth section of this act."

It seems to us important to note that the class of cases specifically provided for are those asking the Commissioners to make an examination" of the rate of passenger fare on freight tariff charged by any "railroad company, and of the condition and operation of any railroad, any part of whose location lies within the limits of such city, town "or township."

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It seems natural and reasonable to conclude that the naming of the cases requiring this particular formal complaint excludes all other complaint from such requirement.

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Again, the last sentence of section 13 seems to us to contain a legislative construction of section 15. The Legislature says: "And in all cases where complaint shall be made in accordance with the pro"visions of section 15, hereinafter provided, that an unreasonable charge is made, the Commissioners shall, &c." From the language of section 15 we therefore conclude that the restrictions as to manner or form of complaint found in section 15 applies solely to two classes of cases:


First-Cases of examination of the rate of passenger fare or freight tariff charged by any railroad company.

Second-Cases of examination into the condition and operation of

any railroad, any part of whose location lies within the limits of such city, town or township.

For these two cases being in the nature of local grievances the Legislature in its wisdom seems to have required that the jurisdiction of the Commissioners to inquire and examine could only be invoked in a certain way. In our view therefore, section 15 has only a limited and restricted operation. But when we turn our attention to the third section of the act defining the power and duties of the Commissioners, we think every doubt as to the fallacy of the proposition must disappear. The Commissioners shall have the general supervision of all the railroads in the State operated by steam. The words "general supervision" are words of the widest signification. They are entirely inconsistent with a crippled or limited power. Then it is provided that the Commissioners shall inquire into any neglect or violation of the laws of this State by any railroad corporation doing business therein, or by the officers, agents or employes; all of which requirements are, to our minds, only consistent with untrammeled liberty of inquiry, investigation and research.

We are, therefore, of the opinion that the proposition that the jurisdiction of the Board of Railroad Commissioners can only be invoked in the manner prescribed in section 15 is untenable. The other two propositions contained or implied in the motion to dismiss, namely, that the jurisdiction of the Board of Railroad Commissioners extends only to public and not to private grievances, and that the matters complained of, if true, constitute a private and not a public grievance in our opinion cannot be maintained. The Commissioners having general supervision of all the railroads in the State, and being charged with the duties of inquiring into any neglect or violation of the laws of this State by railroads, and being required to exercise their judgment as to whether the railroads are complying in every respect and particular with the terms of their charter or the laws of the State, there seems to us to be no limit to the extent and character of their inquiries, except such limits as are found in the exercise of a sound discretion, and judgment, and a constant recollection that we are to study and promote the security, convenience and accommodation of the public; which public is only an aggregation of private persons, and in this view a grievance to the humblest citizen, unless exceptional, becomes a public grievance.

But do the facts stated in the complaint, if true, constitute only a private grievance? The substance of the charge is that a certain rail

road connecting with other railroads at Des Moines, so manages and manipulates its traffic that shippers along its line are hindered from patronizing one of the connecting routes to market and encouraged to the sole use of another route. If it is better to have two routes to market than one, then such a course on the part of any railroad company is reprehensible, and if persisted in, constitutes in our opinion a public grievance; for by such course whole communities are set traveling and trafficking upon one way alone to market, when otherwise two ways would be open to choose from. The business sense of every enlightened and enterprising community has been exercised to secure many ways to market; and it seems to us that in this view, and holding such conduct upon the part of any railroad to be wrong, and a public wrong, the Legislature embodied section 10 into the law creating the Board of Railroad Commissioners which reads as follows:

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"It shall be the duty of any railroad corporation when within their power to do so, and upon reasonable notice, to furnish suitable cars "to any and all persons who may apply therefor, for transportation of "any and all kinds of freight with all reasonable dispatch, and to pro"vide and keep suitable facilities for the receiving and handling of the "same, at any depot on the line of its road; and also to receive and transport in like manner, the empty or loaded cars furnished by any connecting road, to be delivered at any station or stations on the line "of its road, to be loaded or discharged, or reloaded and returned to "the road so connecting; and for compensation it shall not demand or "receive any greater sum than is accepted by it from any other con"necting railroad for a similar service ;"-and we take this as a legislative declaration that the acts complained of, if true, constitute a public grievance. We are, therefore, all of the opinion that the motion should be overruled, and that it is our duty to inquire into the truth of the allegations of the petitioner.

Afterwards, the evidence being heard in the above case, we made our decision upon the questions involved, which we herewith submit : On the first day of May, 1878, the Keokuk & Des Moines Railway Company filed its complaint in this office against the Des Moines & Fort Dodge Railroad Company, alleging that complainant is a corporation duly organized and incorporated under the laws of the State of Iowa, having its principal place of business at Keokuk in this State, and that it owns and operates a line of road running from Keokuk to the city of Des Moines. That it has a large trade in freight and passengers and connects at Ottumwa with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and at Keokuk with the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway, and with the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northern Railway and

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